Welcome to the Apprentices

August 23, 2014

Today marked the end of the first week for the new Apprentices for the 2014/2015 season. They have been busy in the studio taking three classes a day and learning new choreography for the first performance in September. BalletFleming’s first show, “After the Summer Sun” will be September 19th & 20th. More to come about that in the future, but in the mean time here is a warm welcome to our seven new Apprentices! We are so thrilled to have you join the BalletFleming family! :)

Erin Birdwell
Rachael Gnatowski
Andrea Lankester
Alexandra Malleval
Emily McAveney
Gabriella Proffitt
Bethany Schwartz


Tiny Toes Camp

August 6, 2014

This summer The Philadelphia Ballet School held its very first Tiny Toes Ballet Camp! It was filled with dancing, crafts, and learning about six ballets. Miss Brenna, Miss Christina, and myself had so much fun dancing with these little ones for two weeks.

During week one we learned about Cinderella, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty. Day 1 kicked off with the popular princess, Cinderella. We decorated our own “glass” slippers (pointe shoes) and learned how to dance like the Summer Fairy. Day 2 learning about Swan Lake was a hit. We read the story and everyone got to choose if they wanted to be Odette or Odile. They picked up the story so quickly and we decorated crowns in black and white feathers. The last day of week one we learned about Sleeping Beauty and had fun with costumes. There are so many fun characters to dress up as: Aurora, The Lilac Fairy, Little Red Riding Hood, and Puss ‘n Boots. We made cat masks, crowns, and magical wands.

Sleeping Beauty Costumes: Lilac Fairy, Puss ‘n Boots, Aurora, & Little Red Riding Hood

Week two brought new stories and crafts. Day 1 of the second week began with Don Quixote. This story is a bit more complicated than others, but the girls loved dancing like a fiery Kitri with their paper fans covered in glitter. The middle of the week was again the favorite. We had our own Christmas in July as we read the story of the classic ballet, The Nutcracker. Songs of The Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian, Chinese Tea, and Snowflakes filled the studio. The last day of Tiny Toes Camp we learned the story of Coppélia. The girls made their own books like one that Coppélia sits reading on the balcony and got to dance like dolls in the Toy Shop.

Originally the thought of being up and ready to teach ballet at 8am seemed a bit rough, but I would do this again in a heartbeat. The girls that attended the camp were so much fun to teach and constantly kept us laughing. Here are some of our favorite quotes from the girls over the two weeks. Just imagine these things coming from a 3 or 4 year old and it is sure to make you giggle.

“Today I am not Penny, I am Lord Farquaad.” (Shrek fan in the house!)

“Odile is the mean swan and Odette is the nice one!” (spot on!)

“I am not opening my eyes until it goes back to Clara.” (said while watching The Nutcracker during battle scene…clearly not a fan of mice!)

“I don’t want to take a break. I want to keep putting on a show and then I want to put my leg on the barre and stretch like a dancer!” (so eager & ready to learn!)

That last quote brings me to my last thought about Tiny Toes Camp. As a ballet dancer the schedule at times can get very monotonous day in and day out. Get up, take class, rehearse for hours, go to work (which a lot of times for us is teaching), eat dinner, sleep, and repeat. Teaching these girls was a good refresher to me both as a teacher and dancer to why I love dance and how important my role is as a ballet teacher. Most of these girls that came to Tiny Toes Camp were taking their very first ballet class. This is a big deal. It’s their first exposure to ballet, their first time putting on ballet shoes, and probably their first time hearing the term plié. For some it could be a term they hear for a very long time. Either way, whether these girls become dancers, take dance as a hobby for awhile, or decide one summer of dance is enough it is my responsibility as a teacher to share my love of dance with them and give them knowledge and appreciation to take away from the class. It’s the greatest feeling to have mothers tell you their daughter has been waiting at the front door since 6am to come or to hear that they showed their parents steps they learned in class. That really made me realize how much of an impact we have as teachers. Thank you Miss Brenna and Miss Christina for helping me teach and for sharing your love of dance at PBS this summer. Also, thank you to all the little Tiny Toes. You learned so much in two weeks and made it such a memorable experience!

-Fallon :)

summer’14 summer intensive

July 23, 2014

“The summer of 2014, I have attended the Philadelphia Ballet School’s June, July, and will attend the first half of the August intensives. I am currently a college student at Ursinus College, where our main focus is modern. Growing up, however, I have done most of my training in classical ballet. Philadelphia Ballet School’s summer intensives have allowed me to find new meaning and breath behind classical ballet. I was able to tie together my previous ballet strengths with my new modern strengths. This has allowed me to grow and develop into a well-rounded dancer.

I was also an intern this summer for the Philadelphia Ballet School. It was a new perspective for me, since I am typically only in the studio dancing. Being behind the desk and learning the ins and outs of what makes a ballet school and company run was interesting. The behind the scenes of what goes on in a studio gave me a new appreciation for being in the studio. I learned so much this summer, not only in the dance world, but also in the business world. “

Christina Monteleone

Philadelphia Ballet School Summer’14 Intern

Ursinus College Student 2013-2017

Sept. Performances

September 5, 2013

fleming after dark – poster small


September 5, 2013

New Season BalletFleming

September 5, 2013
Alie’s Blog. Ballet Fleming Apprentice 2013
Hi, my name is Alie Reehorst. I grew up in Northern Michigan and have come to Philadelphia to be an apprentice with Ballet Fleming. I graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy for dance in 2009. I then went on to dance at the University of Michigan, a modern department, and recently graduated with a BFA degree in dance in May. I was encouraged by a friend to audition for Ballet Fleming. I auditioned in August with 23 other applicants and within 2 weeks I signed on with an apprentice contract.
It has been my dream to be a dancer with a contemporary ballet company. And I am thrilled to be here in Philadelphia.
Day 1: 10 AM start. Wearing my lucky black leotard, I took my place at the barre. Looking around me I saw 8 male professionals and 7 female professionals among us apprentices. The company is from all over the world and each adds something different to Christopher Fleming’s company. Many of the new members were very nervous however Christopher put our minds at ease. It was very different than being in a college situation.
When rehearsals started I wasn’t sure if I would be cast. We started with Adrianna de Svastich’s piece, a principal dancer in the company, and I am one of 4 “second understudies.” It is a beautiful piece and I cannot wait to see it performed at the end of this month. Next rehearsal Christopher came in and called the whole company. He put the Harry Nielson music on and immediately got down to choreographing. It is a busy train scene and we carry a suitcase, or in my case, hat box. Christopher choreographs to his dancers and his brain runs a million miles a minute. I am in the ballet and I have begun my career as a ballet dancer.
Thank you, I will be writing more as the days go on. 


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Conversations with Alice Part 4

May 15, 2013

Conversations with Alice- Part 4
The shows at the Scottish Rite Theater in Collingswood, NJ was successful. Now we are getting ready for our shows at the Painted Bride Arts Center in Philadelphia. To get tickets go to balletfleming.org or call us at 215-454-2858.
Meet Adrianna de Svastich, BalletFleming company member, who will be playing Alice in the upcoming production of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. She will be answering all of your questions about ‘Alice in Wonderland’ the ballet, her dancing experiences, pointe shoes, and more.
1) What do you think made Alice go down the rabbit hole?

Curiosity made Alice follow the White Rabbit and then go down the rabbit hole. Though Alice was very bored listening to her sister teacher her lessons, causing her to daydream.
2) What was your strangest experience in Wonderland?
I have to say the strangest experience while in Wonderland was going down the rabbit hole. It’s really dark, the whole time I have no clue which way is up! In the ballet, I my feet never touch the ground as I am carried through the rabbit hole by the rabbit hole attendants aka the rabbit hole ninjas.

3) What is your favorite part to dance in the ballet?

The pas de deux I do with the Caterpillar is my favorite dancing scene, but I enjoy the chance to be silly during the tea party.
4) If I come to the performance can I meet you afterwards?
Yes, absolutely!



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